HCC allowed me to pursue opportunities that were previously just a dream. I made connections with people that helped me to align my goals with what I wanted to make of my life. I learned that an associate degree is the key to unlocking freedom in education. The hurdles I experienced were financial and personal. Not only was money an issue for me, but I found that I wasn't ready to start college directly out of high school. In hindsight, I wasn't serious or focused on my education during my first few years in college. I was put on academic probation and after four years, I eventually flunked out of HCC in 2014. Once I realized my dreams of becoming a lawyer and the commitment required, I accepted the challenge and decided to finish my associate degree with the few remaining courses I needed. Now, I am now studying for the LSAT-- something I thought always as far-fetched.
As a Tampa native, HCC has always been a recognized and respected name for college in Hillsborough County. My sister and many of my family members have attended HCC (including many of my friends). HCC definitely helped me shape my life! I got involved with professors, activities, and the various centers on campus. The STEM Transfer Center (specifically HCC Faculty, Marquela Zepeda) helped me get the most out of my education at HCC. Ms. Zepeda assisted me with my application to transfer to USF and introduced me to Professor Valerie Lipscomb at USF who would later mentor me while I was a student in the English department at USF. HCC Professor Kathy Pantelis her team with Paint Your Heart Out (PYHO), Team HCC, introduced me to the good in public service and volunteerism. Professor Pantelis, Dr. Switzer and PYHO sparked my interest in being a volunteer and ignited me to become a public/civil servant. Today, I participate in numerous organizations to benefit Tampa and the academic community. Thanks to HCC and its many resources, I am successfully working towards my ultimate goal of becoming an attorney.